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one to three hundred feet. A little further
inland, for example at Razgrad, there are
elevations of nine hundred feet; and, further
on, before arriving at Schumla, there is a
table-land that reaches the elevation of one
thousand four hundred and fifty feet. It is
amongst these hills, along the foot of the
great Balkan range, that the Turkish army is
now encamped, having its central position at

The Balkan range is divided into two
sections, the greater and the lesser. The former
has peaks between five thousand and six
thousand feet in height, whilst the mean
height of the latter is about two thousand
five hundred feet. One of the peculiar features
of the lesser Balkan is that its approach is
much more difficult from the south than from
the north. The route that traverses it, leading
from Routchuk by Schumla direct to
Adrianople, is one of the best in European
Turkey; that is to say, if the traveller
proceeds southward; whilst, if he pursue the
opposite route, he encounters in many
places great difficulties. It is said that a
considerable part of this southward journey
might be performed in a wheeled vehicle.
The custom, however, in Turkey is to travel
on horseback, generally at full speed, under
the guidance of a Tartar: hence the oriental
term in constant use to express swift
travelling is "Riding Tartar."

The general shape of the lesser Balkan has
been compared to half a roof; there being a
single abrupt rise from the plains of
Roumelia to the extreme summit of the ridge;
whence, as we have said, there is a gradual
descent towards the Danubenot, it is true,
by one slope; but by a series of valleys of
constantly decreasing depth until the last
forms the bed of the Danube, beyond which
stretch the great levels of Wallachia. Along
several of these valleys flow rivers in the
direction of the bay of Varna. One of them
is called the Mad River, on account of its
sudden rises and falls; and another the Intelligent
River, on account of its regularity.

These details, which, under ordinary
circumstances might appear dry, are not without
their interest at the present moment. We
shall endeavour to give a still clearer notion
of this country, by describing the details
of a journey south-eastward from Routchuk
(where at present the main body of the Turkish
army is posted), to Schumla, which is the
centre of the defensive operations, and which
stands half way between the Danube and the
Black Sea.

Routchuk is a considerable town in Bulgaria,
of some thirty thousand inhabitants, situated
on a promontory advancing into the Danube.
From the roofs of its houses a splendid view
may be obtained over the vast winding
river, which is sufficiently deep to carry
merchantmen of large size. An immense
number of vessels are constantly anchored
along the quays. From a distance the town
has a magnificent appearance; but, as usual,
the streets are narrow, dirty, and dismal.
The lower parts of the houses, as is the case
everywhere in Turkey, are without windows.
The shops are generally tolerably well
supplied with merchandise. Travellers bound for
Constantinople hire horses at this place, and
put themselves, as we have said, under the
guidance of a Tartar. The distance to
Schumla is reckoned generally at twenty-two
hours. The road is picturesque; and, for some
time after starting, the valley of the Danube
remains in sight. Between Siniouscha and
Tomlak it is descried, however, for the last
time from a lofty table-land. The road then
enters the valley of the Lom, bordered on
both sides by precipices and carpeted with
verdure. As you proceed, the ground rises
and the path leads across hills and valleys,
here and there covered with brushwood. All
this country is thinly inhabited. Now and
then Bulgarian villages may be seen in the
distance; but on the road are only one or
two solitary Khans. The neighbourhood of
hidden inhabited places is indicated by wells
on the road side, from which paths lead up
into the mountains. Women with jars upon
their heads are sometimes seen coming down
for water. The first halt is usually at Razgrad,
a town inhabited by about fifteen thousand
Moslems and a few Bulgarian families. As a
rule, the Christians, whose occupations are
almost entirely agricultural, are disseminated
in small villages throughout the country.
Their number is estimated at between four
and five millions. The Turks, infinitely less
numerous, are congregated in the great towns;
but there are some villages here and there
entirely Turkish. As they are generally
placed in commanding positions, they are
probably inhabited by descendants of old
military colonies, established to keep the
country in subjection. Beyond Razgrad there
still continues a succession of valleys and hills.
The latter increase gradually in height until,
from the table-land of Buratlare, the heights
of Schumla and the long range of the Balkans
stretching with the uniformity of a wall
behind, come in sight. A little further on the
view suddenly opens to the left, and the eye,
following the magnificent valley of Paravadis,
distinguishes in fine weather the deep bay
of Varna on the Black Sea. Crossing a steep
range of hills, by a defile commanded by a
redoubtprobably at present by many such
fortificationswe came at length in sight of
the great defensive works of Schumla, to
reach which the road makes a considerable

Schumla contains more than twenty
thousand inhabitants, with fifty mosques;
one of which has a peristyle which has been
compared to that of St. Peter's at Rome.
The city has always been rather a vast
intrenched camp than a fbrtress. It is situated
in a deep indentation in the hills; which
have a steep slope both behind it from the